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Real Friends by [Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham]

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Real Friends Kindle Edition

4.7 out of 5 stars 3,345 ratings

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From the Publisher

Real Friends Series Banner
"Growing up means everything changes"

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3–6—Hale revisits her elementary school years in this insightful exploration of the ups and downs of friendship. Young Shannon meets her BFF Adrienne in kindergarten, and the two bond until Adrienne moves away. When Adrienne returns, Shannon is thrilled—until Adrienne joins a clique. In over her head, Shannon copes with feelings of inadequacy as she compares herself to pretty and seemingly perfect ringleader Jen, as well as resentment and intense anxiety as callous Jenny throws barbs her way. There's trouble at home, too: middle child Shannon often feels lost and is bullied by older sister Wendy. The author reflects on her life from the vantage point of adulthood, displaying a mature awareness of her own flaws and an understanding of the behavior of unsympathetic kids such as Wendy and Jenny, and her accessible writing and hopeful tone will speak to readers. Pham's gentle cartoon images make effective use of perspective and composition to underscore Shannon's sense of alienation. Her various flights of fancy reinforce her budding storytelling abilities and provide relatable metaphors (for instance, Shannon imagining her friends as members of a royal court and herself as the jester). In Hale's afterword, she acknowledges that though she attempted to faithfully represent her experiences, she re-created some dialogue and made changes for the sake of the plot. VERDICT This tender, perceptive graphic memoir is bound to resonate with most readers, especially fans of Raina Telgemeier and kids struggling with the often turbulent waters of friendships and cliques.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal --This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Review

“In Real Friends, Shannon Hale reflects on her own friendship-troubled elementary school years with honesty, humor and grace . . . Her readers will find much to love here, including LeUyen Pham’s brilliant and multilayered art . . . These detailed memories of elementary school will ring hilariously true to adult readers . . . At the same time, stories of whispered rumors and being left out will be achingly familiar for readers navigating those waters in the here and now.” ―author Kate Messner, writing in the New York Times Book Review

“The book's truth is as vibrant as its art.” ―Washington Post

“A heart-stabbing tale of the everyday social agonies of girlhood.” ―Wall Street Journal

“Real Friends tackles bullying, childhood anxiety, and growing pains in a heartfelt way that’ll transport every woman who went to elementary school back into her days as a young girl . . . but the book also shows us the incredible kindness and solidarity that girls can and do display.” ―The Mary Sue

“A wistful, affecting, and utterly charming exploration of the realities of childhood friendship.” ―Booklist, starred review

“This tender, perceptive graphic memoir is bound to resonate with most readers, especially fans of Raina Telgemeier and kids struggling with the often turbulent waters of friendships and cliques.” ―School Library Journal, starred review

“A wonderfully observed portrait of finding one’s place in your world.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Readers will appreciate Shannon's fantastic imagination that lightens her tough journey toward courage and self-acceptance.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Hand this book to fans of Raina Telgemeier’s and Cece Bell’s graphic memoirs.” ―Horn Book

“The author’s memoir nails what it’s like to navigate elementary-school friendships.” ―Parents Magazine

“Pham’s visual version of Hale expresses everything, with bright creativity and intense emotional suffering warring across her face, her body posture, and even in her gait. Hale fans will appreciate the look behind the curtain at where some of her amazing book ideas are rooted, and kids who have struggled with the complexity of grade school friendships, i.e., any kid, will find comfort that the dark days can be survived.” ―The Bulletin

Real Friends is honest and heartfelt, and sure to be loved by anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. The artwork is stunning, too!” ―Victoria Jamieson, New York Times–bestselling and Newbery Honor author of Roller Girl

“Fresh, fun, and achingly real. Bravo!” ―Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times–bestselling and Newbery Honor author and co-creator of Sunny Side Up and the Babymouse series

“Real Friends made me laugh, broke my heart, and gave me hope. This book is SO GOOD. SO MANY FEELS.” ―Gene Luen Yang, New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award Finalist author of American Born Chinese

--This text refers to the hardcover edition.

Product details

  • ASIN ‏ : ‎ B06Y5HPK79
  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ First Second (May 2, 2017)
  • Publication date ‏ : ‎ May 2, 2017
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • File size ‏ : ‎ 404714 KB
  • Text-to-Speech ‏ : ‎ Not enabled
  • Enhanced typesetting ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • X-Ray ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Word Wise ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Print length ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • Lending ‏ : ‎ Not Enabled
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.7 out of 5 stars 3,345 ratings

About the author

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New York Times best selling author Shannon Hale started writing books at age ten and never stopped, eventually earning an MFA in Creative Writing. After nineteen years of writing and many rejections, she published The Goose Girl, the first in her award-winning Books of Bayern series. She has since published 30+ books for young readers including the Newbery Honor winner Princess Academy and its two sequels; multiple award winner Book of a Thousand Days; and graphic novel memoirs Real Friends, Best Friends, and the upcoming Friends Forever (with LeUyen Pham). With frequent collaborator LeUyen Pham, she created the adorable picture book Itty-Bitty Kitty-Corn. Her novels for the adult crowd include Austenland (now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell). Shannon and her husband Dean Hale have collaborated on several projects, such as Eisner-nominee Rapunzel's Revenge (with Nathan Hale); early chapter book series The Princess in Black (with LeUyen Pham); two novels about the unbeatable Marvel superhero, Squirrel Girl; and the DC graphic novel Diana: Princess of the Amazons (with Victoria Ying). They live with their four children and two cat overlords near Salt Lake City, Utah.

Customer reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5
3,345 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on December 10, 2017
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3.0 out of 5 stars She said it was really good, so I read it
By Joy P on December 10, 2017
My daughter (8) read this in one sitting. She said it was really good, so I read it. I didn't appreciate The 2nd grade character getting kissed by a boy (aggressively while her friend was held back to keep her from stopping him). The girl got mad at The main character for stopping the kiss - she wanted to be kissed. I don't want my 2nd grader thinking those are ok actions to have our accept. The area I found most disturbing was when the character talked about dying to make all the bad feelings stop. I was caught off guard that my 2nd grader had that small little push that maybe that was an ok solution to handling life's problems. Otherwise, I felt like I was reading the script for Mean Girls. If anything, it gave me some talking points to have with my daughter to remind her acting like the girls in the book was not ok and everyone should be included. I'd provably recommend waiting until a little older to read this book and be prepared to follow up with questions/ answers.
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Reviewed in the United States on November 20, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on May 12, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2019
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Reviewed in the United States on November 4, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on May 24, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on May 28, 2017
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5.0 out of 5 stars Readers Will Relate!
By Amanda Schreiber on May 28, 2017
Im a fifth grade teacher and I read this memoir cover to cover in just one sitting! Shannon Hale tells a story that will provide a mirror for so many middle grade readers! From anxiety, to bullying & feeling alone - so many kids will relate! Hopefully, readers will see that they are not alone & that nice friends are out there! Also, don't let kids skip the author's note at the end - meaningful insights that could benefit any reader.

Enjoyed so much that I added it to my Mock Newbery 2018 book list. Note: I'm not sure if a memoir can win the Newbery but I know this book is worth sharing & discussing with young readers!
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Top reviews from other countries

Emily Gray
1.0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY!!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 26, 2020
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6 people found this helpful
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Simmsy
4.0 out of 5 stars easy read - zipped through it really quickly
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 21, 2018
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One person found this helpful
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Mr J Movsoumov
5.0 out of 5 stars Review for Real Friends
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on March 9, 2020
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EMILYREADSLEEPEATREPEAT
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely book
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on June 10, 2020
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Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Interesting
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 20, 2019
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